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Welcome to the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Fourth Edition. Some sample entries appear below. Click here for the Introduction; here for the masthead; here for Acknowledgments; here for the FAQ; here for advice on citations. Find entries via the search box above (more details here) or browse the menu categories in the grey bar at the top of this page.

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Sidney, A

(?   -?   ) UK author of Destination Unknown (1928), a Lost Race tale set in Africa. [JC]

Strange Days

Film (1995). Universal Pictures presents a Lightstorm Entertainment production. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Written by James Cameron and Jay Cocks. Cast includes Angela Bassett, Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore and Michael Wincott. 145 minutes. Colour. / In the last days of 1999, after Los Angeles (see California) has become a no man's land, a trafficker in bootleg recordings of first-person experiences is caught up in a dangerous conspiracy after chancing on a recording of a ...

Fletcher, J S

(1863-1935) UK journalist and author of popular fiction, much of it for boys, though he is best known for his detective fiction. The Wonderful City (1894), for instance, carries its youthful protagonist to a Lost World in Western America at the famous Four Corners where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet; unfortunately, the inhabitants' ecologically sound lives count for little when a great volcano erupts. Morrison's Machine (1900), an adult tale, analyses the relationship of ...

Offenbach, Jacques

(1819-1880) German-born, French-resident composer of over 100 operas, operettas and other musical pieces. He is recorded here mainly for Le Voyage dans la lune (1875), an opéra bouffe (strictly speaking it is an opéra féerie) adaptation of Jules Verne's De la Terre à la Lune (1865). "Adaptation" ought to be understood, here, somewhat loosely. Although Offenbach and his librettists (Eugène Leterrier, Albert Vanloo and Alfred Mortier) took a few elements from ...

Under the Sea

The world under the sea is an alien environment still in the process of being explored. John Wilkins, in Mathematicall Magick (1648), offered speculative designs for submarines and discussed the possibility of underwater colonization; already, in about 1620, Cornelius Van Drebbell (1572-1633) had successfully navigated a submarine rowing-boat in the Thames, and before the end of the century another would-be submariner had perished in Plymouth Sound. David Bushnell (1740-1824) built a submarine ...

Nicholls, Peter

(1939-2018) Australian editor and author, primarily a critic and historian of sf through his creation and editing of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction [see below]; resident in the UK 1970-1988, in Australia from 1988; worked as an academic in English literature (1962-1968, 1971-1977), scripted television documentaries, was a Harkness Fellow in Film-making (1968-1970) in the USA, worked as a publisher's editor (1982-1983), often broadcast film and book reviews on BBC Radio from 1974 and ...

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